From studying Veterinary Medicine to becoming a Tech Sis


Ever wondered how people transition to work in tech and become a tech bro or sis while their course of study is entirely unrelated?

While ASUU was on strike, Esther Ekanem joined Kippa’s student ambassador program and now works as a Customer Support intern at the company.

In this chat with her, she shares her transition story and her experience working at Kippa so far.

Tell us who Esther is.

My name is Esther Ekanem; I’m from Akwa Ibom. I’m currently a student studying veterinary medicine. I’m in 500 level. I make YouTube videos sometimes, and I’m also a virtual assistant. I’m just trying to live this life.

How did your journey into veterinary medicine happen?

It was my choice. I applied for the course, but I didn’t think it would be so hard in my defense. When I was in secondary school, a woman came to visit and studied veterinary medicine. Let’s say I liked how she spoke and looked, so I decided to go for that instead of Medicine and Surgery.

Surprisingly when I told my parents, they were on board. I passed my exams, and I got in. Everything was going well until I entered school.

What is the hardest thing about being a veterinary medicine student?

I think it is our educational structure. We do more theory than practical. So you imagine animals and their diseases. I feel they teach us about things that have been and are no longer there. When you come out, you find out you have to do a lot of unlearning and relearning.

How did you hear about Kippa?

From the internet. I saw an ad about Kippa’s student ambassadorship program. I had applied for the Cowrywise campus ambassadorship program before, so I decided to apply for Kippa too.

The whole experience was amazing. You just had to attend classes, Hafeedoh, the program coordinator, wouldn’t allow us to miss any class. It was very insightful. My favorite class was the one on UI/UX with Praise. The classes were on different fields in tech, such as product design, product management, sales, marketing and etc

How did you transition from being a student ambassador to working in Kippa?

At the beginning of the program, we were informed that the top two students would get an internship position. I wasn’t even aiming to be one of the top two; I just wanted to be a student ambassador.

In my first week, I was seventh on the leadership board. That made me feel bad. But, I kept trying, and I was the fifth at some point.

There was a time when I was sick and admitted to the hospital. I didn’t think I would be able to turn in my assignment for that week. I told Hafeedoh, and she reassured me that it was fine.

After taking my injection that night, I felt better and turned in my assignment. This was the assignment that made me the second position. It was amazing, I didn’t plan for it, but it happened. That was how I started working at Kippa.

Fantastic, since then you have been interning with the customer support (CS) team, has there been any culture shock?

I didn’t think that the work was that hard. I thought you had to be nice to customers. I didn’t know it involved solving many issues behind the scenes.

Sometimes situations were beyond our ability to fix, but we had to keep reassuring the customer. It has been eye-opening to know that many things go down in the customer support team of a company. It’s not just about being nice to customers.

What is your biggest lesson from working with the CS team?

There was a time when I made an error. It wasn’t so massive, but I could have responded better to a customer. When my team lead spoke to me about it, she kept hammering on it.

It wasn’t like I had prior experience in this role, but I had to learn to take criticism better. I had to learn that she wasn’t hammering on me because she expected me to be perfect. This is just because we’re a team. So I have had to learn to take criticism better.

Does the tech sis journey end here with ASUU’s announcement, or do you intend to make this your career?

I don’t know yet. But I think there is an opportunity for me to keep exploring this role.

What do you enjoy most while working with the CS team at kippa?

I will say I enjoy the understanding. I think everyone understands that we are all doing our best. There is no undue pressure. We know how to delegate responsibilities. Regardless of the time, we’re always there.

If you were to choose between what you do now or being a veterinarian, which would you choose?

Honestly, I think I would choose to be in the Customer Support line. Veterinary medicine has shown me shege. It is an amazing course. I have internships in clinics but don’t want to base my life journey on it.

Working in the CS team is flexible. I would rather help people than to inject animals.

What is the worst animal you have had to treat?

A horse, I had to inject it. I’m small in height, and the horse was way taller. I literally ran out of the room.

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Oyindamola Ogunlana

Oyindamola Ogunlana